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Periodic Table of Life Storytelling

42 Elements to Empower Your Stories

Photo by Stacy Brookman on stacybrookman.com
Shakespeare was wrong when he said that “All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players.”

Life is not a play. We are not handed a script to simply play a part.

Rather, life is a book of stories.

Each person has a story that needs to be written and shared with the world.

However, that doesn’t mean that it is easy to transform your life into a compelling story.

Writing your story in a way that catches the interest of the reader requires that you put some design into it.

Sorry Sherlock, it isn’t always “elementary.” But it can be learned.

Looking back at the lives of great writers and the challenges they overcame (i.e. alcoholism, drug abuse, etc.) you might get the impression that being a writer is not an easy life.
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Shakespeare did get one thing right: there is immortality in art.

It’s Elemental, My Dear

Writing a great story requires the inclusion of certain elements in your story.

Here’s where the Periodic Table of Life Storytelling Elements comes in handy.

From characters and plot, to themes and point of view, this table clarifies life storytelling elements for both amateurs and professionals.

After several freewriting sessions, I encourage writers to review and start taking some of these elements into consideration.

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If done well, your story can grow into an impressive piece of literature.

Let this guide help you better develop your characters, assimilate your metaphors and dialogue, crank up the tension, and keep your point of view consistent.

The table also covers things to consider about your life before writing your epic. This includes embracing your life stories, and finding lessons and themes in every experience.

Your hardships are yours to keep, and yours to share.

If you do choose to share, someone out there will understand and connect with your story.


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Your Story Connects With Others

Think about a memoir or personal essay you’ve read that resonated with you.

Why did you connect to it?
Was there a character that you saw yourself in?
Did the situations seem like deja vu to you?
Did the stylistic choices of the author help you visualize and connect with their work?

Find what has resonated, and then take those elements into consideration when writing your own story.

So…Take a look at what it takes to write a good story in this color-coded Periodic Table of Life Storytelling Elements.

Fellow writers, forget chemistry.

With these elements, you will become story alchemists, and Midas won’t be the only one turning coal into gold.


Stacy Brookman is a Resilience and Life Storytelling Expert and produces the Real Life Resilience podcast.

She helps smart, outwardly confident women who secretly have low self-esteem issues due to an emotionally abusive partner to take back control and begin to develop the resilience they need to be themselves again. Her free monthly webinar will give you 4 Simple, Proven Methods to Writing the First Chapter of Your Life Story in Just 7 Days.

Life is a story…it’s never too late to start telling yours.

Helping each other write better.